The 7 Dancer Recipes We're Making for Thanksgiving This Year
Tired of the typical turkey and stuffing? For Thanksgiving this year, try something different with these personal recipes that dancers have shared with Dance Magazine. The ingredients are packed with dancer-friendly nutrients to help you recover from rehearsals and fuel up for the holiday performances ahead.
If anyone raises an eyebrow at your unconventional choices, just remind them that dancers are allowed to take some artistic license!
To Start: Veggie Borscht, from Hubbard Street's Kevin J. Shannon
Black (left) and Shannon (right) cook show off their homemade borscht. Photo by Greg Birman.
For Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's Kevin J. Shannon and his husband, fellow company dancer Craig D. Black Jr., cooking is a way to relax together after a busy day in the studio—often accompanied by a bottle of wine they've picked up somewhere on tour.
Shannon loves using vegetables they've grown in their backyard garden to cook up this vitamin-packed and vegetarian-friendly borscht.
- 2 tbsps. vegetable oil
- 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
- 1 leek, top and bottom removed (diced)
- 4 medium beets (peeled and thinly sliced)
- 3–4 carrots (peeled and chopped)
- 3–4 parsnips (peeled and chopped)
- 2 tbsps. white vinegar
- salt and pepper
- 48 oz. beef, chicken or vegetable broth (if you're keeping it vegetarian)
- 1 small/medium head of cabbage (halved and chopped)
- sour cream or yogurt
- pinch of dill and splash of lemon juice (optional)
- Heat oil in medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add onion and leek. Cook for 5 minutes or until soft.
- Add beets, carrots and parsnips. Cook another 5 minutes. Add vinegar. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
- Cook until beets are soft, about 10 minutes. Add broth. Lower heat to medium-low and cook for 15–20 minutes, then add cabbage.
- Cook another 20 minutes.
- Garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt. Add optional dill or lemon juice to taste. Serves 6–8.
For Protein: Jamaican Curry Chicken from ABT's Erica Lall
If you're like us and prefer chicken over turkey—particularly if it's got lots of flavor—try American Ballet Theatre corps member Erica Lall's family recipe for Jamaican Curry Chicken.
- 1–2 small potatoes, cubed
- 2–3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 4–6 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
- Lawry's seasoning salt
- 1 tsp. Jamaican curry powder
- 1 tsp. jerk seasoning
- 2 tsp. ketchup
- dried thyme
- coconut milk (about 1/4 can for 4 thighs)
- Rinse chicken and place in glass baking dish.
- Sprinkle seasoning salt, curry powder (about a full tsp. for four thighs or enough to color all sides of meat a bright yellow).
- Add 1 heaping tsp. of jerk seasoning, or a little more for more fire.
- Add ketchup.
- Mix to evenly coat all surfaces.
- Mix in onion, thyme, coconut milk and potatoes.
- Cover with foil and marinate in fridge for one hour.
- Bake at 375˚F for one hour.
- Serve over steamed Basmati rice.
As a Side: Prosciutto Pasta from The Royal's Beatriz Stix-Brunell
Whole wheat pasta can be a great source of healthy carbs. Courtesy Getty Images
Full disclosure: This pasta recipe from The Royal Ballet first soloist Beatriz Stix-Brunell is a favorite among the Dance Magazine editors. It's super tasty, easy to make, and is filled with healthy carbs to get you ready for a marathon season of Nutcracker performances.
Stix-Brunell likes to eat it early in the day if she's got a performance—typically around 2 pm so her stomach isn't too full to dance. But a small serving can also make a great side dish that's sure to please even the pickiest of your relatives. If you want to amp up the nutrients, toss in extra veggies like mushrooms, onions or even sun-dried tomatoes.
- 1 lb. whole-wheat penne
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 6 slices prosciutto, chopped into small ribbons
- 1/2 cup Pecorino cheese
- 3 bunches arugula, chopped into large pieces
- 1 tbsp. black pepper, freshly ground
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
- Add pasta and cook until al dente (about 8 minutes).
- While the pasta is cooking, heat a small, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat; add oil and prosciutto and cook until crispy, then remove pan from heat.
- Drain pasta, but keep a little pasta water on the side.
- Transfer penne to a large serving bowl, then add Pecorino and toss, gradually adding leftover water to loosen up the pasta as needed.
- Add prosciutto, fresh arugula and black pepper. Toss well to combine.
To Sip: Nutcracker-Themed Drinks from Boston Ballet & The Joffrey Ballet
San Francisco Ballet performs the Spanish divertissement. Photo by Erik Tomasson.
In Dance Magazine's December 1990 issue, a number of dancers from Boston Ballet and The Joffrey Ballet sent us a whole list of Nutcracker-themed treats created by and for dancers. We love these simple drink options plucked straight out of the Land of the Sweets.
Russian Tea: Brew strong tea. Place 1 tsp. whole black cherry preserves or red plum preserves in a glass, and then fill glass with the tea.
Frothy Spanish Cocoa: Whip cocoa powder and hot low-fat milk in a blender. Garnish with a zest of orange, cinnamon or a toasted marshmallow.
Fragrant Arabian Coffee: Brew strong coffee. Crush four cardamom seeds in a cup and add zest of lemon before pouring coffee into it.
For Dessert: Pumpkin Cake from Rockette Sarah Staker
Sarah Staker (center), with fellow baker Rockettes Katelyn Gaffney and Christine Sienicki. Photo by Angela Cranford/MSG Photos, courtesy MSG.
Sarah Staker, a Rockette since 2010, loves to bring her great-grandma's pumpkin cake into the dressing room the day after Thanksgiving. "We can use the sugar and carb boost. Plus, it makes me feel like I have a piece of home with me no matter where I'm celebrating the holidays."
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups flour (not sifted)
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 cups canned pumpkin
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 1 stick of butter
- 4 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- In a large bowl, combine the eggs and sugar; beat well.
- Add oil, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, pumpkin and vanilla; beat well.
- Pour in a 13x9-inch pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Test with a toothpick.
- For the icing, beat softened cream cheese and butter, add sugar and blend until smooth. Mix in vanilla.
- Let cake cool completely before spreading icing. Chill until serving.
Social media has made the dance world a lot smaller, giving users instant access to artists and companies around the world. For aspiring pros, platforms like Instagram can offer a tantalizing glimpse into the life of a working performer. But there's a fine line between taking advantage of what social media can offer and relying too heavily on it.
If you think becoming a trainee or apprentice is the only path to gaining experience in a dance company environment, think again.
The University of Arizona, located in the heart of Tucson, acclimates dancers to the pace and rigor of company life while offering all the academic opportunities of a globally-ranked university. If you're looking to get a head-start on your professional dance career—or to just have a college experience that balances company-level training and repertory with rigorous academics—the University of Arizona's undergraduate and graduate programs have myriad opportunites to offer:
Yes, we realize it's only August. But we can't help but to already be musing about all the incredible dance happenings of 2019.
We're getting ready for our annual Readers' Choice feature, and we want to hear from you about the shows you can't stop thinking about, the dance videos that blew your mind and the artists you discovered this year who everyone should know about.
On August 19, 1929, shockwaves were felt throughout the dance world as news spread that impresario Sergei Diaghilev had died. The founder of the Ballets Russes rewrote the course of ballet history as the company toured Europe and the U.S., championing collaborations with modernist composers, artists and designers such as Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso and Coco Chanel. The company launched the careers of its five principal choreographers: Michel Fokine, Vaslav Nijinsky, Léonide Massine, Bronislava Nijinska and George Balanchine.